How to Microwave McDonald’s fries?

You’re probably here reading this article because let me guess, you’ve tried microwaving your leftover McDonald’s fries to heat them up, only to be left with sad and limp-looking fries with an oily aftertaste?

What if I told you, you were doing it wrong? There’s a trick to bringing your fries back to life in the microwave.

Keep on reading because, in this article, I will be teaching you several neat ways to reheat your fries in a microwave (and a few other bonus microwave-free methods) to get your fries’ crunchiness back.

Now you don’t have to feel sad when you are forced to toss out leftover fries just because they aren’t able to retain their crispness.

Yes! now enjoy your McDonald’s (or any other favorite fast food joint) fries with their original crunchiness even after the day you order them, and no, it does not involve buying new fries.

Can you microwave McDonald’s fries?

Definitely! You can microwave your McDonald’s fries if you want to reheat them once again. It is a fast and easy process, but it may not give you the crunchy or crispy texture that it had when it was freshly served to you.

If you are someone who doesn’t mind or may even actually enjoy soft fries, then microwaving your McDonald’s fries can give you the results you are looking for. In reality, reheating using the microwave will more often than not give your fries a soggy and dry texture.

However, if you really want your McDonald’s fries to get their signature crisp back and you only have your microwave with you, then some extra steps can be done to try to achieve this. The result may not be equally as similar to freshly cooked fries, but it might pass your standards for a good McDonald’s fry.

Is it safe to microwave McDonald’s fries?

It is perfectly safe to microwave your McDonald’s fries. It is safer to microwave your fries for reheating compared to doing the same thing with soups, coffee, or even fruit. This is because you don’t need to worry about your fries exploding or spilling inside the microwave.

Of course, you still need to do it properly. You don’t want your McDonald’s fries to simply be reheated in the microwave. What you want is to have a fry that you can enjoy so we definitely should aim to make it look, taste, and feel like those you just bought at the restaurant or cooked at home.

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How to Microwave McDonald’s fries?

If you wish to use a microwave to bring your stale and limp fries back to their crunchy glory, you would need to use a microwave crisper.

It’s the only way a microwave alone can bring back the crispiness of fries.

Once you have a crisper, the rest of the reheating method is pretty straightforward. 

  1. Give the fries a light coating of oil
  2. Place the leftover fries on a paper towel and then place the towel on the crisper pan.
  3. Microwave for 1-3 minutes in 20-second intervals until you feel all the fries have changed from evil step-sisters to cinderella aka limp to crisp.

Can I Still Use the Microwave Even If I Don’t Have a Crisper Pan?

Since a microwave crisper is a specialized tool, it might not be multifunctional in the kitchen. But if you frequently use your microwave for reheating fried fast food then it’s something you should consider buying.

However, if you aren’t convinced enough to buy one yet, but would still like to experiment with reheating your McDonald’s fries in the microwave then you could try substituting a paper towel/ parchment paper underneath your fries to absorb the oil.

However, be warned results may vary greatly

Best Way to Use a Microwave to Reheat McDonald’s fries:

Are you still up for the challenge then? Alrighty then, here’s what we need to do:

  1. Take the fries out of the refrigerator and let them come to room temperature if possible.
  2. Add more moisture with oil. While this may seem counterintuitive, you only need to add a tiny bit more oil before microwaving them on high heat. 

This will ensure that the fries start to crisp up, rather than release their oil and become soggy and rancid.

  1. Spread them out on a single layer of parchment or paper towel to absorb the excess moisture during the cooking.
  2. Microwave in 20-second intervals till you feel the fries have reached their desired level of crispness.
  3. Take them out, remove the paper towel and allow them to cool before eating.

Again the results may not be exactly, what you were expecting. Check out the other alternative methods below, which can actually guarantee crispy fries each time

Alternative ways to reheat McDonald’s fries:

If you tried the above method and find that it doesn’t work for you, don’t panic. 

You still can enjoy your leftover fries with one of these alternative methods but with better results guaranteed every time.

  • Use an air fryer (psst, it uses a microwave too)
  • Bake in an oven
  • Heat on a stove-top. 
  • Fry them in oil again

Method 1 – Air frying:

Simple. Quick. Convenient. 

Can be a bit drying, though, if not used correctly. But I’ve experimented enough to find a way to work around this as well.

  1. Preheat your air fryer to 400 degrees F.
  2. Use your microwave to warm the fries for 20 seconds, with a moist paper towel draped over them.
  3. Remove the paper towel and spread the fries out in the air fryer basket.
  4. Air fry them for 1-2 minutes. And you’re done.
  5. Allow them to cool for 30 seconds before serving.

My verdict:  9/10

While I personally love this way to reheat my leftover fries, the only downside is that I am limited by the size of my air fryer. 

Doing large batches at a time can be time-consuming.

Method 2 – Oven-baked:

While air-frying is an efficient way to re-heat leftover fries it does possess a dilemma when you have a large batch that needs to be reheated quickly. This is where oven baking fries come in handy. 

  1. Preheat the oven and the baking sheet to around 400-500 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Using oven mitts take out the baking sheet and spread out the fries in a single layer. Pop it in the oven for 4-5 minutes.
  3. After 3-5 minutes in the oven, your fries should be toasty and crispy from all sides, ready to eat. But wait, let them cool down first before diving in.

My verdict: 10/10. 

The fries are perfectly crisp. There’s no rancid oil flavor. Bonus points for being able to do large batches at a time

Method 3 – Stove-top: 

I find this method the easiest way for small batches because no preheating is involved. But you will need a heavy cast-iron skillet for this.

  1. Heat the empty skillet to medium-high first.
  2. Add room temperature (preferably) fries to the hot skillet in a single layer. Make sure not to overcrowd the pan.
  3. Cook them for roughly 3-4 minutes per side, flipping them over once they are done from one side.

Tip: You won’t need to add any extra oil in this method, because the heat from the skillet will draw out the oil already present in the fries and use that to crisp them up.

My Verdict: 8/10

Stovetop reheating lost out on the two points only because you are limited by the size of your skillet.

Method 4 –  Re-frying:

I know, I know you’re thinking if I had to fry fries, then why not do a batch of fresh fries. But hear me out, re-frying is (sort of) not the same thing. Also it’s going to take a lot less time than frying up a new batch of fries.

  1. Heat your oil: By How much? Well, that will depend on how many leftover fries you have. I would just eyeball it, enough for the fries to drown in it.
  2. Place them gently in when you feel the oil has heated up. And let them cook for roughly 2-3 minutes.
  3. Take the fries out on a plate lined with a paper towel to absorb the extra oil. Let them cool slightly before diving in.

If you feel the edges of the fries are starting to get brown, take them out immediately. They’ve spent too much time in the hot oil. Ideally leaving the fries in the oil for just a few minutes should be enough for them to crisp up.

The only drawback that I find with this method is that you are in a race against time because as the fries start to cool, you tend to feel the oiliness creeping back again. 

My verdict: 2/10 (I gave it a two because the restored crispness was the only saving grace here)

What is the best way to store leftover McDonald’s fries?

That’s actually a pretty great question. Because how you choose to store your leftover fries makes a world of a difference when you reheat them.

Here’s a checklist of things to do:

  • Make sure the fries are at room temperature before storing them in the refrigerator
  • Keep them in an airtight container. 
  • Line your container with paper towels to absorb excess moisture.
  • Spread out the fries in a single layer and add a paper towel between each layer.

Tips when microwaving McDonald’s fries

There is more to just making sure that your McDonald’s fries are heated enough for you to enjoy at any time of the day. Of course, you need to make sure that you heat them properly in your microwave. However, you also need to see to it that you will be able to achieve the quality of a reheated McDonald’s fry that is somehow close to how you might expect a fry to taste and feel.

With that, here are some useful tips that can help you make sure can still be as good as it can be once it has been reheated in a microwave:

Store your leftover McDonald’s fries properly

You have to ensure that your McDonald’s fries are still good for reheating. This means that it still hasn’t gone bad or spoiled before you even have the chance to reheat it in your microwave.

The most effective and efficient way to make sure that you keep your leftover fries in good condition is by keeping them in an airtight container and putting it inside the refrigerator. This prevents it from being contaminated, and it can also allow you to still have good fries for at most 3 days.

If you don’t have an airtight container, then some plastic wrap or aluminum foil will do the trick. You just need to transfer your McDonald’s fries into a bowl, or a plate, then cover it up with the plastic wrap or aluminum foil that you have. Don’t forget to put it in the refrigerator afterward.

Moreover, make sure that you consume your leftover fries before it lasts longer than 5 days. You can still reheat them in your microwave if you don’t like eating them cold. However, your fries can still go bad after about 3 days even if you store them properly.

Use a microwave crisper tray

Simply reheating your McDonald’s fries in the microwave may not be enough to get them as crispy as they can. With that, you may want to consider using a microwave crisper tray to help you get better results. What this device does is that it helps you give your fries a crispier texture than what your normal microwavable container could’ve done.

You don’t need to worry about how it is used because it works very similarly to your common microwavable dish. You simply need to follow the same steps on how you should microwave your McDonald’s fries. The difference is that you just need to replace the tray or dish that contains your fries in the microwave with a microwave crisper tray. It’s as simple as that.

Make sure it is properly reheated

Before you even start putting your McDonald’s fries into the microwave, you have to make sure that they are at room temperature first. Never reheat your fries if they are just newly removed from the refrigerator. This is because the cold temperature will most likely give it a lot of moisture once it is heated in the microwave. This will make your fries too soggy and will probably make them taste bad as well.

With that, let your fries sit outside the refrigerator for about 15 to 20 minutes before you microwave them. However, make sure that you are going to immediately heat and consume them after.

You should not let your leftover fries stay at room temperature for more than 4 hours. This is because it becomes more prone to contamination in this condition. This might cause your fries to quickly go bad and even spoiled.

On another note, always see to it that your fries have an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit or 74 degrees Celsius after heating them. This is the right temperature for thoroughly heated food that is safe to eat.


I’m just going to come out and talk about the elephant in the room here. We all love our fast food, be it McDonald’s or any other brand. But fried food, especially fries, tastes best when they are fresh. 

Their quality will start to degrade the longer they are stored, and it will become harder to restore their original taste. So it’s best to eat any leftover fries the very next day.

But if that’s not possible, then depending on the number of fries that you have leftover, choose anyone of the reheating methods to enjoy them well after their prime.

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